## Tuesday, August 15, 2017 ... /////

### A future proof of $P=NP$ or $P\neq NP$ may be far-reaching or not so much

A few days ago, Norbert Blum, a professor (and a chair) from Bonn, the ex-capital of West Germany (picture) whose publication record looks good released the preprint

A Solution of the P versus NP Problem
claiming to contain a proof that $P\neq NP$.

John Baez and Alon Amit, a brilliant mathematician at Quora, have offered their opinions. The preprint isn't "self-evidently wrong" according to some basic "smell tests" that may be used to "sniff" for wrong proofs of this kind, Baez concluded. In fact, a bunch of computer scientists has so far reacted in the same way: it looks rather credible so far. So it's good enough news for Blum.

## Saturday, August 12, 2017 ... /////

### Arctic mechanism: a derivation of the multiple point criticality principle?

One of the ideas I found irresistible in my research during the last 3 weeks was the multiple point criticality principle mentioned in a recent blog post about a Shiu-Hamada paper.

Froggatt's and Nielsen's and Donald Bennett's multiple point criticality principle says that the parameters of quantum field theory are chosen on the boundaries of a maximum number of phases – i.e. so that something maximally special seems to happen over there.

This principle is supported by a reasonably impressive prediction of the fine-structure constant, the top quark mass, the Higgs boson mass, and perhaps the neutrino masses and/or the cosmological constant related to them.

### Czech trams in Pyongyang

Tough words directed against North Korea have been a pleasant distraction for Donald Trump because the negative attitudes towards North Korea seem to be uncontroversial in the U.S. and beyond. There's a problem: North Korea may hypothetically erase several cities from the map but no one seems to care.

Americans generally support a strike against North Korea. But do they know where the country is located? That's what the folks at the Hollywood Boulevard, a major avenue in L.A., were asked. The answers were all over the map, literally, but the consensus seems to be that North Korea is in Northeastern Canada. Prepare your bunkers, Mr Kim IV Trudeau!

## Friday, August 11, 2017 ... /////

### GR=QM paper shows Susskind isn't a real co-father of ER=EPR

I have always appreciated that in comparison to other top physicists, Leonard Susskind was among those who deserved to be called heuristic thinkers, creative mavericks, talkers rather than calculators, and to a large extent, I have found this spirit inspiring. Susskind was always a role model for me. The number and diversity of ideas he helped to emerge from the darkness was amazing.

Of course, as the well-known lore says, physics depends on the delicate balance between the hot, bold, philosophical speculations on one side; and the cold, hard, boring facts on the other. When this balance is broken, physics degenerates either to philosophy or to botany (or stamp collecting). This lore is not meant to be an insult when it says that philosophy and botany are inferior because they self-evidently are inferior.

Well, the first outcome seems to be a good description of Susskind's new paper

Dear Qubitzers, GR=QM
The 15-page paper is free of equations, begins with "Dear Qubitzers" (a hybrid of quantum bit and kibitzers) and ends with "Best regards, Lenny".

## Thursday, August 10, 2017 ... /////

### Police finally asks lawmakers to enable prosecution of Babiš

Will he win the October elections while arrested?

Andrej Babiš, a Slovak billionaire, a former communist cadre, an ex-agent of the communist secret police, and the Czech finance minister up to Spring, was fired by the social democratic prime minister Sobotka a few months ago, in a series of events that looked like a farce mainly because Sobotka repeatedly changed his opinions how to deal with the problem named Babiš. The reasons were numerous.

At least at the level of economic morality that Babiš – and Sobotka – loudly demand from everyone else, there was no doubt that Babiš has done too many immoral things.

He has done lots of strange things to fool his former business partners, evade taxation of CZK 1 bonds by tricks with the rounding to the nearest integer etc. but the most famous wrongdoing is the subsidies for his Stork's Nest, a luxurious farm and rural tourist resort I saw a year ago. He temporarily moved the company owning the project to his relatives, they secured $2 million of EU subsidies that were meant to help small and medium businesses, and then Babiš – who owns a$3 billion company – restored the ownership of his Stork's Nest company.

## Wednesday, August 09, 2017 ... /////

### Women are neurotic: research

Almost none of the critics of James Damore's memo has actually read it and virtually all negatively sounding statements that have been made about the memo have been malicious, outright lies mindlessly screamed by fanatical lynch mob. But several people who actually wanted to find something wrong about Damore's text found the following statement to be among the most controversial ones:

Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).

This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.
Women are more anxious in average, he dared to point out. Well, everyone who is at least slightly interested in related disciplines of biology and psychology – and even most people who aren't interested but they just observe the people around them – must have known it for many years. Let me mention several papers, popular reviews, and facts.

## Monday, August 07, 2017 ... /////

### James Damore deserves $100 million as a compensation from Google His observations about the stifling PC culture may be necessary for reforms that Google needs to survive Updates: "$1 million in bonuses" was changed to "$100 million as a compensation" after Damore was "fired" by a Mr Kunda Píča whom I have never heard of; Damore plans to sue Google; he had previously complained to NLRB and wants to argue that his dismissal was a revenge which would be illegal. See a Damore's defiant answer to Reuters. Donations up to$60,000 to JD. I haven't verified that website.
Recently, James Damore (here's where I learned his name) has studied towards his PhD in systems biology from Harvard but just like some other young men with numerous talents, this 23- or 28-year-old Gentleman immediately went to Google (in 2013, Damore's team won a computational challenge to evacuate a big city; more awards; he's been at Google since 2013) and became a Level 5 Senior Engineer – a position somewhere in the middle of Google's corporate hierarchy – focusing on the infrastructure of the search engine.

(I decided that a photograph of James isn't needed. Imagine a picture of Mark Zuckerberg's twin brother over here.)

Last week, he wrote an e-mail to some internal list of recipients at Google which was both relevant for the future of the company as well as related to the topic of his PhD program that he had previously undergone from a university that isn't quite unknown, ;-) either to me or to the world.

The full text of his 10-page-long essay, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber, may be found at Gizmodo (along with some less valuable appendices) if you click at the link in this sentence. See the original 10-page Damore's PDF file with charts and references; or a special website of the memo (later, a new Damore's domain). The stifling atmosphere of political correctness has largely conquered Google, Damore argues, and people who just suggest that they would prefer a more serious discussion about the actual causes of the gender gap in STEM fields are immediately demonized, threatened, and silenced.

Damore, a centrist and a sensibly self-described classical liberal, explained some characteristic features (which may become vices in too high concentrations) of the leftwingers and rightwingers, argued that the left-wing bias at Google has become staggeringly obvious, and this bias is increasingly preventing sensible people from saying self-evident facts such as that women's have a greater focus on people and emotions while men's focus on things and hard reasoning, aside from other biological differences he discussed eloquently.

## Sunday, August 06, 2017 ... /////

### Vanderbilt: mathematics is sexist

In the 1990s, left-winger Alan Sokal wrote a bogus paper mocking his fellow leftists who were also postmodernists, feminists, or otherwise mentally crippled beyond the usual standards of the Left. Just because Sokal was licking their rectums and amplifying some of the most stupid propositions by these pompous fools, the reviewers of a "prestigious" journal have accepted the paper despite its complete absurdity.

Related to this topic: at least one engineer wrote at least one 10-page essay titled Google's Ideological Echo Chamber arguing that the STEM gender gap is natural. Let's hope that Google won't Bing him. One should be afraid – assorted parasitic neurotic vice-presidential bitches for diversity at Google immediately began to threaten the wise gentleman (and prove his thesis in a clear way). Ranting monkey ran a great story about it.
One of the recurrent themes in his funny paper was the idea that mathematics was sexist and the discipline would look very different if we stopped the discrimination against women etc. Serious papers weren't quite saying these things at that time – yet.

Now, two decades later, papers claiming to be serious are saying the same things as Sokal's hoax from the 1990s. Andrzej pointed out the following Tweet

which promotes a CampusReform.org article about a remarkable paper Unmasking the Male Superiority Myth... The author, Luis Leyva, is a junior professor at the Vanderbilt Peabrain University.

## Saturday, August 05, 2017 ... /////

### Gary North, Mojmír Hampl on fatal volatility of cryptocurrencies

...and my thermodynamic metaphors...

Mojmír Hampl is one of the 7 members of the Czech National Bank's board – which determines the main interest rates in Czechia etc. He was the key hawk-turn-dove in 2013 whose vote decided about the interventions against the previously strengthening crown and the alleged deflation threat. And he's arguably the most outspoken pundit among the seven. I've had a lunch with him some years ago.

Parallel Polis, a Bitcoin café in Prague

Days ago, he published his opinion about the Bitcoin:

Don't be afraid of bitcoin

Ms Emmy Destinn née Kittlová (almost like Motlová) on our $90 banknote. She and Dinh Gilly uploaded a nice audio to YouTube in 1914 with the Czech anthem, 4 years before it became the anthem. The lyrics were a bit different. The CZKexit came too late – but it was because the board members had unwisely extended a commitment back in 2016. On April 6th, there was no doubt that it was needed to remove the weird Chinese-style policy. Since that time, the EURCZK rate went down more or less smoothly from the cap level of 27 to 26 or so, confirming all my qualitative predictions and debunking many analysts' delusions about "a huge volatility with rate jumping between 24 and 30" and similar crackpottery. ## Wednesday, August 02, 2017 ... ///// ### Italy seizes the first NGO ship of human smugglers Czech readers were somewhat pleased by the news that at least some sanity is returning to Italy. A Sicilian prosecutor has ordered to confiscate Iuventa, an NGO ship that has been shown to "cooperate" with the human flesh traffickers. Iuventa belongs to Jugend Rettet (Young Saviors), a German NGO originally founded by some high school students in 2015. The prosecutor announced he has serious evidence of repeated encounters between Jugend Rettet and the recognized traffickers close to the Libyan border. Well, you may see it – a video of June 18th and June 26th incidents. ### Two Czech anti-Daesh veterans sentenced to 6.25 years in a Turkish jail Turkey is a country in between Europe and the Islamic anticivilization which has been increasingly self-confident, increasingly Islamic, and has done lots of questionable things. Last November, Turkey caught a Czech couple that was fighting against the Islamic State along with the Kurds in Rojava, i.e. the Northern Syrian Kurdistan. Amusingly relaxed and outspoken Ms Všelichová talks since 1:44. "If you wanna help," the Kurds told her, "here you have some clothes, here you have a Kalashnikov, and you can go with us" which is how she got to the battlefront. Some other folks were released but Ms Markéta Všelichová (codename Zelane Botan) and Mr Miroslav Farkas (codename Sniper Serxwebun Botan 007) weren't too lucky. Their punishment could have been even more severe and lots of people were predicting it. However, we could learn today that they should go to prison for 6 years and 3 months. The most serious formal charge is their membership in YPG, the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which are classified as a "terrorist organization" by Turkey. ## Tuesday, August 01, 2017 ... ///// ### Bitcoin split shows the stupidity of the concept of cryptocurrencies ...and why the central, transparent control over a currency is a key advantage, not a vice... Today, the Bitcoin (BTC) was split into two new cryptocurrencies. From now on, you may convert your cash to Bitcoin or Bitcoin cash (click and try to distinguish their symbols LOL). For quite some time, people were using the acronym BCC for Bitcoin cash before most began to appreciate that BCC was already taken by BitConnect, the 15th largest cryptocurrency by capitalization (which lost 20% today), so BCH began to spontaneously propagate instead – the new acronym originated after the currency was created! The very naming of the old and new currency is a complete mess: a minor example of a situation in which some "adults in the room" would be helpful. If you held 1 BTC at a given moment, you were eligible to get one new BTC and one new BCH. In principle, the rule "when" you should hold the old BTC should be absolutely and universally specified – because you surely want to know whether you're buying or selling an "asset" that is eligible for this BCH "bonus" – which is worth some 10-20 percent of the old BTC. It's exactly analogous to the splitting of a stock to two, or the payment of the dividend. The price of the "main" stock is expected to decrease exactly by the value of the smaller stock or by the dividend at the very last moment when you still have the right to get the "bonus" – the new stock or the dividend. But the people trading this stuff don't care about details such as 10% of their wealth. ### Mapy.cz, best online/offline map app+server LIGO-VIRGO: The European 3/4-size, LIGO-like detector, VIRGO, has finally joined its two larger American siblings and they collect the data together. Seznam.cz was and probably still is Czechia's most visited web page – and the company behind it, a formidable, locally stronger competitor of Google's. I am proud to have spent an hour chatting to Ivo Lukačovič, its founder and owner, in the early 1990s. We participated at the Liane BBS Session – a real-world gathering of folks who would otherwise only chat through the telnet-based Bulletin Board Service. We were talking shortly before he founded the company, during our walk to the summit of Ještěd, a Northern Bohemian hill (Sudetenland) with a famous hyperboloid structure at the top. "Seznam" means a "list" or a "directory" and the company began as a Yahoo-style "list of all Czech websites". You can imagine that this approach to the Internet has been somewhat obsolete for quite some time. So Seznam.cz gradually embraced a full search engine and – usually with some delay – most of the other services that non-Czechs mostly associate with Google. The map server and application, Mapy.cz ("mapy" is "maps", the plural from "mapa" i.e. "a map"), is one of the most successful projects of this big Czech company. I recommend you to try Mapy.cz website, download Android app, iOS app, WM app. This blog post is being written right now because the Android map was just upgraded to version 5.0 which contains offline maps of the whole world. That new version will come to iOS soon, too. For example, after you tap the three-dots (other commands) and "offline mapy" (the web exists in Czech and English, the apps only in Czech so far, as far as I know), you may download the whole U.S. to your Android phone – it is some 22 gigabytes – or you may download each of the 142 U.S. maps separately (states but also various districts, groups islands etc.). In all these applications, you will face the language barrier. The first thing the American readers should know is that "Spojené státy americké" is the phrase for "The United States of America". The U.K. starts with "Spojené", too. But you will see flags and it's not hard to use the functions even if you don't understand the Czech. ## Monday, July 31, 2017 ... ///// ### Aspects of 755 Americans expelled from Russia Putin responded to the new U.S. sanctions by a move that is the mirror image of the previous, December 2016 act by the U.S. – which was still done under the Obama administration – to expel 35 Russians from the U.S. What is the mirror of expelling 35 Russians from the U.S.? Yes, it is the expulsion of 755 Americans from Russia. The reason why it's the mirror image is that after that move, the number of citizens employed by the State Department or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work in the other country will be 455 in both cases which is "fair". What does statistical physics say about the fairness? Assuming the same "chemical potential", the number of Russians who drift to the U.S. should be approximately equal to the number of Americans who drift to Russia, regardless of the size of the two countries. Nice. The large number has shocked many. It's the largest number of diplomatic employees that have been ejected from another country – since a similar expulsion of the U.S. diplomats from the newly Bolshevik Russia exactly 100 years ago, in 1917. If you read the American reactions, you will see that many of them are confused about the following point: Oops, what I find most shocking isn't that 755 State Department employees are expelled but the fact that there were 755 employees in Russia to start with! ## Sunday, July 30, 2017 ... ///// ### Uro, the ultimate virtual cryptocurrency Paris Agreement: first, off-topic. Look at the map of countries that have ratified. Czechia and Switzerland are the only two advanced European countries that have still avoided ratification – and Czechia is expected to surrender in September because most of our lawmakers are either corrupt or idiots, too. Only two small post-Yugoslav countries, Turkey, and Russia may also be counted as additional cautious European countries here. Every cryptocurrency fan will tell you that the blockchain is a technology that is priceless – it is worth quadrillions or infinitely many dollars. Unless you want to be a dinosaur, you should convert all your assets to the Bitcoins, Ethereums, and similar coins. But some of these fans still realize that there have been problems with the existing cryptocurrencies. The Bitcoin's ledger, tens of gigabytes, is too long and some people disagreed with each other so it's likely that the currency will split into two, Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash, on August 1st. You may keep your Bitcoins happily and wait to see whether they become the more valuable among the two or the worthless one. Good luck! A similar, "real" test will arrive on November. Also, some cryptocurrency fans are confused by the graphics cards and electricity that are being spent to mine the new currency. Isn't it useless waste of GPUs and electricity, some of the most heretical users of the Bitcoin ask? The growth of the producer of chips AMD already depends on the sales of graphics cards to the miners. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am just introducing the new truly virtual cryptocurrency, one Uro, which fixes all the problems of the old cryptocurrencies. The Reference Frame is also the first blog that accepts payments for unlimited reading in the new virtual cryptocurrency. ## Friday, July 28, 2017 ... ///// ### Assuming the present trend, Russia will remove the GPS, U.S. satellites by 2020 John McCain was a top hateful scumbag who led the U.S. lawmakers to approve a new wave of broad and idiotic sanctions against Russia. They have absolutely no justification, they will damage the relationships in the world, and they will damage the European companies as well. That's why the Austrian chancellor and the German minister and SPD boss angrily responded and started to consider European countries' sanctions against the U.S. Great. The American politicians are absolutely inconsiderate. They don't give a damn when they hurt third parties equally if they decided that the primary goal is to hurt someone, in this case Russia. Russia was placed on equal footing with Iran and North Korea – the latter country just fired an intercontinental (!) ballistic missile to the sea off Japan. Days ago, the U.S. stole some real estate that Russians bought for$1.2 million 40 years ago. Lots of self-evident crime is taking place overtly, a daylight robbery. Also, a lawmaker paid millions of dollars believes that Putin keeps on invading Korea. You get in trouble in the U.S. when you just point out that she is a stupid ape because she's the true representative of the American nations right now.

One reason why the brain-dead far left jerk Mr John McCain (the brain cancer has utterly failed to kill him so far) keeps on being reelected in the U.S. is the Americans' frantic religious and utterly irrational cult worshiping their "troops" – which is not really one of the most commendable jobs. This old and counterproductive man still paints himself as a soldier and the stupid Americans are buying it. It's apparently enough for many of them. But it's not just John McCain. Only 2+3 U.S. lawmakers voted against the sanctions. The degree of the lawmakers' group think is stunning. Even if Donald Trump vetoed the bill, the lawmakers will have the much higher majority that is enough to overrule Trump's veto. And don't forget that Trump was promising to veto the sanctions in order to propose even tougher ones. He probably thinks it's a good idea to join the contest looking for the most fanatical lunatic.

Interventions against the U.S. elections were quoted as a reason for the sanctions. There is zero evidence supporting any of these claims. But even if Russia did influence the U.S. elections – what staggeringly double standards the U.S. would display. After the war, the U.S. intervened in 81 elections held in 47 countries of the world. Those efforts included several brutal interventions into the Ukrainian politics which consumed billions of American taxpayers' dollars and all of them were directed against Russia. So either it's nonsense that such interventions are utterly criminal, or the U.S. is the leading criminal regime in the world, isn't it?

### Cryptocurrencies, a speculative mania

Those who have invested a lot of money into the Bitcoin or the Ethereum, a new competitor, at least half a year ago have become wealthy. The Bitcoin's price doubled in less than a year. It added an order of magnitude in some 5 years and several orders of magnitude in just slighter longer intervals. The Ethereum's price added some two orders of magnitude in a year.

The Bitcoin price juxtaposed with the usual graph of stages of a bubble.

The current prices of the Bitcoin and the Ethereum are some $2,700 and$200, respectively. There will be a 5% decrease of ETH to $190 today and another 5% decrease to$180 on Saturday: The Ethereum dropped by more than 50% from a peak in June (when Peter F. was encouraging me to buy LOL), the Bitcoin is close to its peak around $3,000. Should you buy these things? Given the fact that their value may drop 50% in weeks – and I think that it can also easily fall by 99% in weeks – you should only reserve the money for similar cryptocurrencies that you don't need at all, that you may afford to completely sacrifice. ## Thursday, July 27, 2017 ... ///// ### Pinker on the AI alarmism, Pandora, and alpha males One year ago, Steve Pinker recorded this insightful 2-minute-long video about the AI fearmongers for Big Think: Pinker is one of the great thinkers who is deeply underappreciated and this fact and similar facts immensely frustrate me. When an intellectually average man, Elon Musk, offers his childish and utterly stupid perspective on the future of technology and its interactions with the mankind, millions of people praise him and parrot him. When a world's top thinker about these matters clarifies what's actually going on and what are the causal relationships, he only attracts 40,000 viewers and 65% of them give him negative votes, for reasons that I find absolutely indefensible. Almost all the commenters under Pinker's video are aggressive imbeciles. Almost no people in this world have any respect for deep thoughts or the actual understanding of things – it's mostly throwing pearls to swines when folks like Pinker record their videos. The fact that laymen such as Zuckerberg and Musk are considered "the opinionmakers" related to things like evolutionary psychology is analogous to the climate science led by Leonardo DiCaprio and shows that tens of millions of people really don't want the scientific mode of thinking to matter in their lives. A well-known face from the tabloid media is at least equally good to answer such questions, isn't he? Well, he isn't. ## Wednesday, July 26, 2017 ... ///// ### Red team and blue team may be a good next step to fix the U.S. climatology The EPA chief – the U.S. minister of environment – Scott Pruitt wants to return some healthy exchange and validation of ideas to the U.S. climate science. So he has sketched his "red team-blue team" paradigm. Two groups of people should interact according to the principles of dialectics and exchange evidence and decide what's right and what's wrong, what's known and what's unknown when it comes to the climate change. Recall that in Matrix, the red (Republican) pill gives you knowledge, freedom, and the truth of reality. The blue (Democratic) pill gives you falsehood, security, and the blissful ignorance of illusion. Pruitt has chosen Steve Koonin, a physicist and an Obama DOE bureaucrat, as the head of the alarmist team. They call it the "red team" but I guess Koonin's should be called the Democratic "blue team". While he says that the climate change is a problem, Koonin has shown some signs of reality years ago – at least, he recognized that the likes of Richard Lindzen and Judith Curry have been unfairly targeted by the alarmist movement. ### Propaganda about Czech victim of stabbing in Hurghada ...was similar to the communist propaganda after Chernobyl... On July 14th, a terrorist attack took place in Hurghada, a favorite destination of German, Czech, and other tourists in Egypt. The 29-year-old Abdel-Rahman Shaaban spoke German fluently and was ordered by IS-related militias to target white women. He swam from a public beach to a Zahabia Hotel beach and stabbed six women – five Germans and one Czech. Two German women died immediately. What happened to the Czech victim of the stabbing attack, Ms Lucie Civínová of Nové Strašecí (36), the top accountant in the Soccer Association of the Czech Republic? ## Tuesday, July 25, 2017 ... ///// ### Zuckerberg's understanding of AI doomsdaylogy is more limited than Musk's ...unfortunately, AI doomsdaylogy is a moronic cult, not a credible field of science... One week ago, Elon Musk repeated his Luddite demand to regulate and combat the AI existential threat before it's too late. We're facing an imminent uprising of the robots, we were told, so a new IPCC – the Intelligent People-like-robots Combating Committee – has to be established. Everyone who has some dangerous robot, e.g. a self-driving car, an intelligent thermometer, a smartphone, a fridge, or a mixer, will have to euthanize them or report every usage of them to the IPCC. New production of dangerous robots will be banned to fight against the existentially threatening uprising. I am not quoting Musk exactly but I am sure that I am accurately conveying the basic spirit. He is a Luddite. An insane one. It's rather amazing for an entrepreneur who is considered high-tech to be a Luddite when it comes to the Artificial Intelligence but it just happens to be the case. ### Wrong turns, basins, GUT critics, and creationists A notorious holy warrior against physics recently summarized a talk by Nima Arkani-Hamed as follows: I think Arkani-Hamed is right to identify the 1974 GUT hypothesis as the starting point that led the field into this wrong basin. As far as I can see, Nima has never made a discovery – or claimed a discovery – that would show that grand unification was wrong or the center of a "wrong basin". Instead, Nima made the correct general point that if you try to improve your state-of-the-art theoretical picture gradually and by small changes that look like improvements, you may find a local minimum (or optimum) but that may be different from the global minimum (or optimum) – from the correct theory. So sometimes one needs to make big steps. Is grand unification correct? Are three non-gravitational forces that we know merged into one at a high energy scale? My answer is that we don't know at this moment – the picture has appealing properties, especially in combination with SUSY, but nothing is firmly established and pictures without it may be good enough, too – and I am rather confident that Nima agrees with answer, Peter W*it's classic lies notwithstanding. Even if we take the latest stringy constructions and insights for granted, there exist comparably attractive compactifications where the electroweak and strong forces are unified at a higher scale; and compactifications where they aren't. String theory always morally unifies all forces, including gravity, but this type of unification is more general and may often be non-unification according to the technical, specific, field-theoretical definition of unification. Nevertheless, W*it made this untrue statement in his blog post and the discussion started among the crackpots who visit that website: Was grand unification the first "wrong turn"? ## Monday, July 24, 2017 ... ///// ### "Information is physical" carries zero information Scott Aaronson wrote a long and tedious essay, Is “information is physical” contentful? which has ignited a long and tedious discussion. I remember that some 30 years ago, I was somewhat excited about the "idealism" that hides in statements such as "physics is all about the information". When you do physics – or any proper science, for that matter – you don't approach the world "practically". You don't need to "feel" the meat, scents, materials. Instead, you represent them by some abstract concepts, by information, and by real or complex numbers – that's the most typical attitude of the physicists who replace "intuitive objects" with coordinates, observables, positions, momenta, wave functions. It doesn't really matter that "pork is real matter" and you remember its taste and consider it primary. Instead, in physics, pork is composed of some concepts and quantities that may be written on the paper and communicated as information. There's some sense in which "the ideas are primary" is preferred in physics over "the matter is primary" – sense in which idealism beats materialism in physics. And this point becomes particularly strong in quantum mechanics because quantum mechanics only calculates the probabilities that propositions about observations are correct – it doesn't allow you to assume that some "matter with objective properties" exists independently at every moment. So idealism wins. ## Sunday, July 23, 2017 ... ///// ### Pro-Islamist Berkeley hosts banned Richard Dawkins' talk The atheist icon is politically incorrect among the true grass roots "progressives" now In the morning, I saw a two-day-old tweet by Steve Pinker: The article that Pinker linked to reveals (see also other outlets) that a radio station disinvited Richard Dawkins who was supposed to give a talk at the First Congregational Church on August 9th. ## Saturday, July 22, 2017 ... ///// ### Donald Trump has a duty: to defend his family Guaranteed pardon for all family members is the right thing to do Hardcore left-wing activists in the U.S. keep on attacking Donald Trump and his family. Their behavior is so similar to what we remember from the communist totalitarianism. Someone's view, in this case Trump's, is sometimes politically inconvenient for the self-appointed determinants of the atmosphere in the whole society. So the left-wing octopus doesn't attack just Trump himself but also his children. During communism, this was happening to many Czechoslovak parents. Many of them found the legal and material well-being of their kids more important than their political values so they surrendered to the communist pressure. At any rate, leftists have totalitarianism deeply rooted in their DNA and hardwired into their brains. In their perspective, the ends always justify the means. So they're doing the same to Donald Trump and his family. A week ago, they tried to ignite a hysteria about the meeting of Donald Trump Jr and a female Russian lawyer. Trump Jr was simply doing opposition research. The last regime in a Western nation where the very meeting with a member of an ethnic group was criminalized was Nazi Germany: already in the mid 1930s, Germans were harassed already for a friendly talk with a Jew. Do the leftists – who otherwise claim to defend the equality of ethnic groups – want to be exactly the same as their German predecessors? Yesterday, a new candidate topic for an anti-Trump hysteria was revealed by some left-wing activist rags. Trump wants to pardon himself and/or his team and family. What a sin! ### European Union's Left, not Poland, is a threat to democracy Europe's postmodern Left has escalated its attacks against Poland that started to remind us of September 1939. Let me offer you two texts about the tension. First, a translation of an article by science-fiction writer Mr Ondřej Neff at his The Invisible Dog. The Constitutional Court and Poland By Ondřej Neff On the website of the Czech constitutional court, it is possible to find a joint statement concerning the situation in Poland. It was signed by various important personalities, chairmen of the Constitutional, Supreme, and Supreme Administrative courts, the Attorney General, as well as the Ombudswoman. The latest changes that took place in Poland are being described as steps that are threatening the untouchable values of the European civilization, humanism, and basic rights and freedoms. ## Friday, July 21, 2017 ... ///// ### Does weak gravity conjecture predict neutrino type, masses and cosmological constant? String cosmologist Gary Shiu and his junior collaborator Yuta Hamada (Wisconsin) released a rather fascinating hep-th preprint today Weak Gravity Conjecture, Multiple Point Principle and the Standard Model Landscape They are combining some of the principles that are seemingly most abstract, most stringy, and use them in such a way that they seem to deduce an estimate for utterly observable quantities such as a realistic magnitude of neutrino masses, their being Dirac, and a sensible estimate for the cosmological constant, too. What have they done? In 2005, when I watched him happily, Cumrun Vafa coined the term swampland for the "lore" that was out there but wasn't clearly articulated before that. Namely the lore that even in the absence of the precise identified vacuum of string theory, string theory seems to make some general predictions and ban certain things that would be allowed in effective quantum field theories. According to Vafa, the landscape may be large but it is still just an infinitely tiny, precious fraction embedded in a much larger and less prestigious region, the swampland, the space of possible effective field theories which is full of mud, feces, and stinking putrefying corpses of critics of string theory such as Mr Šmoits. Vafa's paper is less colorful but be sure that this is what he meant. ;-) The weak gravity conjecture – the hypothesis (justified by numerous very different and complementary pieces of evidence) that consistency of quantum gravity really demands gravity among elementary particles to be weaker than other forces – became the most well-known example of the swampland reasoning. But Cumrun and his followers have pointed out several other general predictions that may be made in string theory but not without it. ### Boss of Californian community colleges wants to ban algebra Several years ago, Penny asked Sheldon whether Leonard would get bored with her. She lied to him that she was a community college graduate – in order not to be considered a stupid loser. Sheldon was surprised that she apparently thought that the opposite of a "stupid loser" was a "community college graduate". Well, Sheldon had very good reasons to be surprised. And the NPR gave us an additional reason two days ago (thanks to Willie): Say Goodbye To X+Y: Should Community Colleges Abolish Algebra? Kayla Lattimore talked to Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the chancellor of California's college community system. ## Thursday, July 20, 2017 ... ///// ### Why we emphasize that the climate has always changed Professional climate fearmonger Mr Stefan Rahmstorf finds the observation that "the climate has always changed" inconvenient which is why he wrote the text The climate has always changed. What do you conclude? He wants the readers of RealClimate.org to dismiss the importance of the observation that the climate has always changed. In order to achieve this goal, he fights four straw men – he chooses four propositions that he believes not to follow from the proposition "the climate has always changed", even though at least some of them actually do follow, as I will discuss. Too bad. If he had at least some integrity, he would study the actual reasons why people point out that the climate has always changed instead of his straw men – or I should perhaps say straw persons because he's a writer for a far left-wing activist website. OK, why do many of us emphasize that the climate has always changed? It's because this important proposition of ours is primarily a response to statements such as Climate is changing. Climate change is real. Haven't you heard these sentences? I have heard them thousands of times. You get a million of hits at Google even if you look for the precise form of these sentences. We say that the climate has always changed in order to point out that those who say "climate is changing" or "climate change is real" don't have the slightest clue about this scientific discipline. The sentences such as "climate is changing" are formally true but they also implicitly say that It is important information and a modern scientific discovery that climate is changing. Or: A brand new process has started in the world we inhabit. But these sentences are absolutely untrue because the climate has always changed. Everyone who says "climate is changing" and indicates that it is some important information that should affect our behavior if not policies influencing the whole national economies is a scientifically illiterate, probably brainwashed, layman or an intentionally deceptive demagogue or a liar. The climate has always changed so the sentences such as "climate is changing" are as worthless tautologies as 2+2=4. It it silly to repeat such a statement and it is absolutely silly to suggest that such a sentence is a deep or original insight that may support one policy or another. ### U.N.'s 17 sustainable goals by 2030: what the youth gets brainwashed with Bill Nye, a former actor, is looking forward to the day when the older people will die out. The death of the older people is a necessary condition for progress in climate science, Bill Nye tells us. Just try to appreciate how sick this individual is. In the real world, the progress in science doesn't require anyone's death. A scientist may do his research equally well if others – including the wrong ones, if they are wrong at all – stay alive. Nye's statement is just another example of the far left-wing Nazis' complete inability (or their lack of will) to distinguish science from political movements and from mass eradication programs. You can't be surprised that the wise commenters urge him to be the role model and be the first one who dies in order to end the farce that he calls his life. We often complain that the Millennials are a lousy generation without ambitions, without spine, without courage, a brainwashed herd of cheap sheep. At the same moment, they're mostly just kids. They are victims. And they still have a chance to see the light. It's some of the old jerks like Nye who are actually responsible for having crippled the Generation Y. ## Wednesday, July 19, 2017 ... ///// ### Was there a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago? If you make it to the U.S. Congress, you have to do some work but there are lots of advantages. One of them is that you may finally ask the questions you were always afraid to ask – and you can ask them to the best paid experts in your country. Well, Mr Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Southern California, has maximally used the opportunity. He said that we should exploit the Moon as much as we can before we visit Mars. But concerning Mars, can I borrow these NASA folks for a minute? Now, wise guys, tell me: When you say that Mars was very different thousands of years ago, do you have the evidence that there was a civilization on Mars? Thanks for the good job you're doing. ### When research has no beef, it's impossible to divide credit A few days ago, would-be researcher Sabine Hossenfelder had a headache. Why? She saw an article in Nature that was written by Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral and that speculated about some ways to test the phenomena involving both quantum interference and gravity. And Hossenfelder thinks that Marletto and Vedral should "cite" Hossenfelder because: For about 15 years, I have worked on quantum gravity phenomenology, ... my research area has its own conference series ... I have never seen nor heard anything of Chiara Marletto and Vlatko Vedral ... If they think such meetings are a good idea, I recommend they attend them. There’s no shortage. ... And so on. Later, Hossenfelder also notices that a "Bose-Eistein condensate" has appeared in one of the – not really plausible – experiments proposed by Marletto and Vedral. So some outsiders must be stealing her work, right? No. The problem with Hossenfelder's claims is that regardless of those "15 years" and the bogus "conferences" for which she has misappropriated all the sponsors' money, her "field" doesn't really exist because no results that could be considered "beef of this field" have ever been found. All the texts that the likes of Hossenfelder pretend to be "research papers" are just worthless piles of junk whose only purpose is to fool the most gullible laymen and make them pay. But she has made no impact on science (yet?). Marletto and Vedral don't mention people like Hossenfelder because people like Hossenfelder have never found a damn thing in physics. ## Tuesday, July 18, 2017 ... ///// ### Lukin's 51-qubit Russian-American analog quantum computer My former ex-colleague Mikhail Lukin has been doing some cool things in atomic physics and the most recent one is a 51-qubit quantum computer of a sort. Read the story Russian, US Scientists Team Up to Create World's Most Advanced Quantum Computer at the semi-official Russian Sputnik News server (or an original story in Russian or Google News). You may see the different attitudes of the media in the two countries. While the U.S. media are obsessed with witch hunts against a son of Donald Trump who may have touched the hand of a Russian woman in the recent year, and they wouldn't dare to mention a Russian quantum computation advance at Harvard, Russian media are celebrating the cooperation of Russian and American scientists. This Snap's hit from the 1990s, "Power", is started by a Russian announcement that the U.S. company Transceptor Technologies began to produce the computers Personal Sputnik. ;-) Think twice who is the aßhole here. Yes, Lukin is Putin's agent according to a Democratic Party's lawmaker. Their results were summarized in a fresh quant-ph preprint Probing many-body dynamics on a 51-atom quantum simulator The authors are mostly affiliated with Harvard's physics department, 1.5 of them with MIT, 1 with Caltech, and 0.5 of them with Harvard-Smithsonian. So despite Misha's ethnicity, that would probably make the paper an American one. But Lukin recently co-founded the Russian Quantum Center. I suppose that the plan is to do lots of things over there. ## Monday, July 17, 2017 ... ///// ### Italy plans an act of war: 200,000 EU visas for free According to the existing laws as well as common sense, Italy is one of the countries on the border of the EU visa realm – the Schengen Area – so it has the same duty as separate countries in most cases: It has the duty to make sure that no illegal immigrant gets to the space where he doesn't belong. I think that the Italian prime minister and the most relevant minister should be abruptly tried in the court as soon as they fail to realize this duty and one or two illegal immigrants makes it through the EU border. Instead, they have allowed – well, they have really assisted – hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to get into the Schengen Area. During the weekend, we learned something incredible: Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse' They just want to give the visas valid for the whole EU to everyone who looks like an illegal immigrant! It's just stunning. Anyone in the world who wants to get to Europe may just sail to the Italian beaches and he automatically gets all the paperwork. Technically, they want to use the same system of temporary visas that was allowed in 2001, in the wake of conflicts in Yugoslavia. A difference is that there was a real war in Yugoslavia which was an adjacent country to several EU countries. And the drifting Yugoslavs of those times were mostly real refugees from a battlefront, not economic migrants. Libya sits at a different continent and except for Italy, we have had no historical links with that country. And almost all the people coming from Libya are economic migrants – and most of them aren't even Libyan. ## Saturday, July 15, 2017 ... ///// ### Maryam Mirzakhani, RIP This news is really tragic because the death is truly premature. Maryam Mirzakhani, the world's first female Fields Medal winner and Persia's first winner of that award, died of breast cancer at an American hospital today. The disease was recurrent and things became terrible when the disease spread to the bone marrow. She was born in 1977 to parents who always supported her even though they weren't ever too ambitious, she once told me. Her father Ahmad is an electrical engineer. Maryam is also survived by her Czech husband Jan Vondrák, a computer scientist at Stanford and their daughter Anahita (*2011). For a while, we were (theoretical physics!) classmates in Prague with him in late 1994 and/or early 1995 and he we overlapped at Rutgers (in different dpts) in 1999-2001. ### Quantum teleportation is less magical than both Harry Potter apparating, Star Trek beaming Popularizers of science often want the laymen feel excited. So they say "this experiment is amazing", "this experiment is magical". At the end, I think that this hype creates more damages than benefits. Four months ago, we were being persuaded that the Chinese have constructed a quantum radar, something that can inform you about an airplane without any actual reflection of any radiation from the airplane. This is obviously impossible by locality, whether you use any quantum subtleties or not. Right now, we're told about another wonderful achievement by the Chinese. They have succeeded in teleporting a particle to the outer space. It's basically the same topic – about the same Chinese and about the same transmission of quantum information to the outer space. There are stories everywhere. NPR chose the title Beam Me Up, Scotty ... Sort Of. Chinese Scientists 'Teleport' Photon To Space Brian Greene was asked whether the Chinese achievement is closer to Star Trek's "beaming" or Harry Potter wizards' "apparating". He answered that it's "somewhere in between" Harry Potter and Star Trek. He was mostly joking except that most readers and listeners won't understand in what sense he was joking – and many of them won't understand that he was joking at all. And it seems that this misinterpretation is really intentional. ## Friday, July 14, 2017 ... ///// ### Harvard committee proposes to abolish the freedom of association Last year, I discussed efforts by the extreme left-wing jihadists at Harvard to ban the single-sex clubs. "Are you now, or have you ever been a member of single-sex organizations?" students are gonna be asked starting from this year. When first policies to harass Jews in Nazi Germany were established in Nazi Germany, the path towards gas chambers was straightforward and only took a few years. Harvard's trajectory towards eradication of some basic values of the Western civilization has been immensely speedy, too. Lots of things got much worse in the recent year. Two days ago, The Harvard Crimson told us that Faculty Committee Recommends Social Groups Be 'Phased Out' A 29-member committee led by the notorious jerk Rakesh Khurana and by musicologist Suzannah Clark has recommended that the College forbid students from joining all “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations”—including co-ed groups—with the goal of phasing out the organizations entirely by May 2022. Wow. To be sure, they basically decided to ban all and any associations and clubs. ### Classical simplex vs quantum ball and another huge difference between classical and quantum physics Bell's theorem is often hyped as a very important result about the foundations of quantum mechanics. There are two basic problems with this assertion: the theorem isn't a theorem about quantum mechanics at all; and it is not important. It is a theorem about local classical theories (those that were ruled out around 1925) and its claimed importance – the proven difference between classical and quantum theories – must be trivial to see for every intelligent schoolkid. Here, I try to show you another elementary difference between classical and quantum physics that differs from the ideas in previous hundreds of blog posts. For the sake of simplicity, consider one qubit, the simplest nontrivial quantum system, and let's describe it as the spin of an electron. And let's ask: What is the space of all possible mixed states? Those describe all possible states of the electron's spin that we may know before some observations. While pure states are of the form$\ket\psi = \alpha\ket{\uparrow}+\beta\ket{\downarrow},\quad \alpha,\beta\in\CC$ the mixed states are $2\times 2$ Hermitian matrices. All of them may be written as a combination of the unit matrix and three Pauli matrices:$\rho = \frac 12 \zav{ 1+\vec n \cdot \vec \sigma }$ The coefficient of the unit matrix had to be $1/2$ for the trace of $\rho$, the total probability, to be equal to one. Hermiticity guarantees that $\vec n$ is a real 3-dimensional vector. Also, the density matrix cannot have negative eigenvalues which tells us that$|\vec n| \leq 1.$ This inequality is saturated if and only if the qubit is in a pure state i.e. if $\exists \ket\psi:\,\,\rho =\ket\psi\bra\psi$. Excellent. So the density matrix is parameterized by a vector with $|\vec n|\leq 1$, i.e. by a three-dimensional ball! ## Thursday, July 13, 2017 ... ///// ### Celebrating Russian pop-music Donald Trump's son Donald is being harassed for having met an attractive Russian female lawyer. I am amazed by this hysteria and find it as wild and overblown as Russia's FM Lavrov. What's wrong about meeting a Russian lawyer, especially if she could have possessed some useful data on the opponent of the campaign that you direct? Is a Russian lawyer worse than a Japanese, Spanish, or Mexican one? These efforts to outlaw the very meetings with people who are Russian are exactly on par with the Nazis' anti-Semitism and if you think that you're any better, Yankees, you have just blinded yourself. This criminalization of meetings with the Russians corresponds to the situation of the Jews in Germany around 1937. While Czechia belongs to the Western civilization and has been culturally closer to Germany than to Russia for some 1,000 years, it's just impossible for me not to understand this Russophobia personally because of our Slavic roots – and because of the fact that most Americans are so immensely ignorant about the European geography and history that they don't even understand that e.g. Czechoslovakia has always been an independent country, from the USSR, where people spoke their language and didn't follow the Russian culture most of the time, among other things. Today, Czech media informed us that Tamara Miansarova died of pneumonia complications at the age of 86. She was the original singer of "Пусть всегда будет солнце" ("Let There Be Sunshine") in the 1960s. This song was obviously a part of the propaganda in the communist bloc and that's why we were served it but I still find this song extremely touching, excellent musically, and to say the least, it is the best song promoting peace that I know. ## Wednesday, July 12, 2017 ... ///// ### SI units: $h,k_B,e,N_A$ will be set to known constants Between 13th and 16th of November, 2018, the 26th meeting of The General Conference on Weights and Measures will convene in Versailles, France. The Symmetry Magazine tells us that it is expected to cause a revolution in the definition of SI units. In 2012, I became somewhat loud while screaming "let us fix the value of Planck's constant" although I was recommending it more silently for decades. Last year, my goal finally got closer while plans to redefine one ampere were already around, too. ### Hysteria over double standards in food products The media in much of post-communist Europe are obsessed with a fashionable topic – the observed double standards in food products. Transnational companies sell their products – in identical packages – in many countries but the composition is sometimes different. See e.g. this Reuters story about the panic in Bulgaria or another one about Czechia (or a test reported in Radio Prague EN). We're often calling ourselves the "dumping ground of Europe" and stuff like that. I believe that all this anxiety is painful. What makes us different is that some of us – and our politicians – still expect the governments and even the EU to dictate what citizens should eat and what food producers should offer them. ## Tuesday, July 11, 2017 ... ///// ### The uninhabitable galaxy Guest blog by Peter Deutsch-Doveking, the director of the International Bureau for the Galaxy Salvation from a Cow Fart (IBGSCF) In the July 10th issue of the NY Magazine, David Wallace-Wells talks about the looming uninhabitable Earth. The climate Armageddon will much worse than any person in the world can even imagine. He points out that the people who imagine the cities like Boston and New York to be flooded by the rising seas after the Antarctica melts are basically just deniers. These people are just touching the surface because the actual horrors will be much worse. He divides some of the problems to sections titled I. Doomsday, II. Heat Death, III. The End of Food, IV. Climate Plagues, V. Unbreathable Air, VI. Perpetual War, VII. Permanent Economic Collapse, VIII. Poisoned Oceans. There are hardcore deniers such as those at Grist.org who seem to reject even these self-evident catastrophes – even though 99.9997% of the world's climate scientists say that they are real – but the actual truth is that even David Wallace-Wells' views only touch the surface because we're facing much worse events. ## Monday, July 10, 2017 ... ///// ### Physics of sailing For the first time in my life, I could try what it means to pilot a yacht. My friend, the captain, took us to the Lake Lipno, the largest Czech-or-Slovak, 5000-hectare reservoir with a hydroelectric power plant built near the spring of the Moldau River in Southern Bohemia, miles from the Austrian border. Bedřich Smetana, the Moldau. A decade ago, I tried to exploit the knowledge of which parts of our national river were described in various segments of Smetana's composition. Lipno is seen e.g. at 1:50, 1:58, 2:01. Smetana had predicted the big dams in the second part of the composition. Our captain did almost everything for us – and he worked in his pub just minutes before our 21-hour-long sailing, as well as minutes after that. But I could at least enjoy to be the acting captain at night when I skipped sleeping. Unfortunately, our Yamaha motor stopped working minutes after we began our adventures. That got combined with another problem – there were many windless hours. You can imagine what it feels like to sit in the middle of the Bohemian Sea and be unable to do anything about it. The last 2 miles were impossible, too: We asked another yacht to bring us to the port which they kindly did. It's fun to experience some practical physics. I have always found sailing counterintuitive. The practical experience has erased my doubts that it's possible, however. ;-) ## Saturday, July 08, 2017 ... ///// ### Venus and Hawking's scientific illiteracy Five days ago, Stephen Hawking – or someone who has hacked his computerized speech generator – has told us that Donald Trump is a supervillain who will transform the Earth to another Venus with temperatures at 250 °C and sulfuric acid rains. Wow. Now, every intelligent 10-year-old kid must know why this possibility is non-existent, why the statement is nonsense. Some scientists including Roy Spencer have pointed out how absurd these Hawking's statements were from a scientific viewpoint. But lots of the scientists who have paid lip service to the lies about the so-called global warming or climate change in the past have remained silent and confirmed that their scientific dishonesty has no limits. I despise all the climate alarmists who know that statements like that are absurd but who hide this fact because a lie like that could be helpful for their profits or political causes. You know, what these jerks and the people who tolerate these jerks' existence haven't quite appreciated is that it is only lies that may be helpful for them. ## Friday, July 07, 2017 ... ///// ### Does the confirmed mass of the $ucc$ baryon make this field exciting? You may have heard that whenever the title is a question, the author's answer to the question is No. Well, it's mostly the case here but I actually think that if you statistically evaluated TRF blog posts with questions in the title, the percentage would be close to 50-50. Well, it could be hard because many blog posts give some "it depends", nuanced answers. My view is that the 50-to-50 ratio of "Yes" and "No" is actually a sign that the author isn't a demagogue. As you could have seen in the media, the LHCb collaboration at the LHC collider has detected a new particle, the "doubly charged doubly charmed xi particle" $\Xi_{cc}{}^{++}$. As I have previously said, the quark composition $ucc$ would be a far easier method to indicate its basic properties. Well, the new particle is a composite of three quarks – much like the proton $uud$ or the neutron $udd$. Except that two of the quarks are the heavier cousins of the up quark, the charm quark. The charge of the particle is 3 times +2/3 (from an upper-style quark) which is equal to +2. The new particle's mass is some $3.621\GeV$. It's not the first doubly charmed particle. As a controversy-igniting Gizmodo article says, the SELEX collaboration at Fermilab discovered a $3.5\GeV$ particle with the composition $dcc$ in 2002. ## Thursday, July 06, 2017 ... ///// ### John Schwarz tried to defend the feminist talk at Strings 2017 ...however, he must have overlooked that the talk was indefensible... One week ago, we discussed a breathtaking talk by Marika Taylor that was scheduled as a regular talk at the Strings 2017 conference. The speaker bragged that at least in the U.K. and the Netherlands, she is making sure that people are being hired and conferences and projects are being funded primarily according to the gender of the applicants. And in fact, we heard, this ideologically driven, political manipulation of the institutionalized science has been her main daily job in recent years. The video with the talk has attracted some 1300 viewers so far and 25 out of the 35 votes – and 6 out of 8 comments – were negative. People including several of you pointed out that stuff like that doesn't belong to a scientific conference. ## Wednesday, July 05, 2017 ... ///// ### Visegrád-Egyptian friendship and its possible consequences Will Northern Africa stage a proxy war between V4 and Western European PC loons? The Soros-style Western media outlets often like to paint the countries of the Visegrád Group – Hungary, Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia – as racists who must have some uncontrollable hatred towards the Arabs or something like that. Well, say it to the president of the most populous Arab country, Egypt's Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi: Relationship between Egypt, Visegrad Group historic: Al-Sisi As you may remember, Egypt has been stable and promising under Husni Mubarak before he was charged with corruption. Around 2011, a loser named Barack Obama tried to install his brothers from the Muslim Brotherhood as the new terrifying rulers of Egypt. But that didn't work: Exactly 4 years ago, in early July, 2013, the military restored the quasi-secular, decent setup, removed Mohamed Morsi, and helped sensible presidential elections to be held in 2014. Al-Sisi beat Hamdeen Sabahi and Egypt jumped on a promising trajectory again, perhaps a more promising one than the previous one. ## Tuesday, July 04, 2017 ... ///// ### Physics doesn't justify that "everything and everyone is connected" Tetragraviton wrote a nice text about the idea that "everything is connected because of quantum mechanics or string theory etc.", titled The Way You Think Everything Is Connected Isn’t the Way Everything Is Connected, and I completely agree with him. Science in general, physics, and modern physics in particular is often being "summarized" by the laymen – and especially religious people or people with a good heart – by the slogan that physicists have found evidence that "everything is connected" or "everyone is connected". So the message is that all of us should think as one soul or as limbs of the same God. Everyone should love each other, emulate others in the world, share his assets with others, or have a romantic relationship with everyone else, depending on the precise flavor of the religious or ideological framework. They're nice conclusions according to many people and the very phrases such as "quantum entanglement" and "string theory" are being used as the scientific justification for the goals listed in the previous sentence. Well, "entanglement" makes it particularly clear. It sounds like a tight emotional relationship between everyone and everything. And strings may probably be the things that connect the dots and connect all the people, too. You must have heard various flavors of the same statement. And if you're a randomly chosen reader of this text, you have "more likely than not" said similar things in the past, too. ;-) ### Higgs boson: 5th birthday I spent a few days in Olomouc, the historical and religious center of Moravia, with a goal of giving a talk about the continuum and discontinuum at a summer philosophy school in the nearby Oakwood Upon Morava ("Dub nad Moravou"). If this blog were like Asymptotia.com, you would be offered some 284 blog posts with pictures of that area, the churches of Olomouc, the impressive pilgrimage Holy Hill ("Svatý kopeček") with the huge basilica where John Paul II gave a mass and led a pop music concert some 20 years ago, with a house where a famous Czech poet Jiří Wolker has lived. (I liked this non-distracting area with big things, it had a similar spirit as D.C.) The zoo was larger than I expected – lots of animals. No one told me that this tiger was a nervous CNN journalist who didn't like the cat game (what else should I have been playing with him?) so I had to wrestle with him in the same way as Donald Trump but I survived. ;-) Honestly, if I didn't tell you about the glass in between, it would look like one of the "Darwin's award" videos with someone's stupid death, right? The talks on my day were about the relationships between the continuum and points, whether the non-constructible or non-algorithmic numbers on the real axis (which are those that make the continuum uncountable) "exist", whether they are fundamental etc. Well, some big picture conclusion of mine has always been that the specific, "algorithmic" numbers (which are countable) are at least more useful or more important and the others only "exist in some academic sense" in order to make an axiomatic system simpler. And there are various detailed axiomatic systems. All consistent ones are OK enough and more far-reaching statements should better be made rigorously and they may sometimes depend on the axiomatic system we pick. ## Saturday, July 01, 2017 ... ///// ### Battle of Zborov: 100th anniversary The blog post was written 3 days later and the date was changed retroactively Exactly 100 years ago this weekend, on July 1st and 2nd, 1917, the Battle of Zborov took place. Zborov is a town in Ukraine – just outside the Subcarpathian Rus that belonged to Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1939. Czechoslovak legionnaires in the trenches. I didn't know much about the battle but it was a pretty fascinating moment of the history and an interesting battle. ## Friday, June 30, 2017 ... ///// ### Backreaction: the same stunning misunderstanding of naturalness as in 2009 Sabine Hossenfelder has some non-convex reproductive organs and the European Union's sexist bureaucrats make sure that it's enough and she doesn't have to understand any science while pretending to be a physicist. But her new text To understand the foundations of physics, study numerology is amazing because it's more than just a repetition of her complete cluelessness about the logic of naturalness that she presented in 2009. Her new text is actually more explicit, and therefore dumber, than the text from the last decade. From the beginning, she boldly tells us that any argument referring to naturalness must be wrong – including the argument that the Universe should have better undergone an inflationary epoch or another epoch that explains its almost perfect flatness. ### Strings 2017 is over, next meeting in Okinawa The annual Strings 2017 conference (videos) is over. The Friday afternoon was dedicated to an optional visit of the participants to the actual capital of Israel, i.e. Jerusalem. Well, you know, I don't want to be controversial. Instead, I am being loyal. Last month, the Czech Parliament recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and urged the government to stop funding UNESCO because of its anti-Israel activities. Meanwhile, TRF reader Roy Weinberg who lives in Tel Aviv had an easier job to visit the conference than I will have tomorrow when I go to give a talk about the continuum and discontinuum in Moravia. He attended several big shots' real technical talks, just like most people in cities hosting string conferences should, and he picked the nicest person. Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner is... Edward Witten. Congratulations. I hope that it's OK to repost Roy's half-refreshed selfie with Weinberg and Witten. Roy, I hope that you're working on an updated version of your theorem. ;-) ## Thursday, June 29, 2017 ... ///// ### Marika Taylor's "diversity" talk shows the incredible extent of corruption within the EU Because I am interested in these matters, I have watched the 29-minute talk by Marika Taylor about "diversity in string theory" that started at 5 pm on Wednesday. Thankfully, Andy Strominger didn't say much more than the name of the speaker. She introduced herself, making sure that she is not ashamed of the fact that unlike other men and women at the string theory conference, she would be talking about the identity politics instead of science. By the way, aside from some inspiring women's talk at Strings 2017, you may try a new 30-minute-longinterview with Lisa Randall published as a podcast two days ago – thanks, Willie. The talk is about dark matter, supernovae, innovation in the IT industry, childhood and schools, everything. It's relaxed and even though even Lisa has some tendencies for that, she can simply avoid these divisive ideologies. ## Wednesday, June 28, 2017 ... ///// ### Czech lawmakers approve the "shoot your terrorist" or "second" constitutional amendment I was watching the discussions in the lower chamber of the Czech Parliament which were dedicated to the proposal by the interior minister Mr Milan Chovanec (social democracy) and a group of fellow deputies to adopt a constitutional amendment that allows the citizens to use their guns in the case of a terrorist attack. The amendment somewhat unusually says that the Czech folks have the right to bear arms (like in the U.S. but) "in order to protect their country". Interior minister Chovanec and his Winchester 1892. Spoilers. After a nearly three-hour-long discussion, 139 voted for, 9 voted against, some abstained, and 32 weren't present, but the support exceeded the 60% = 120 majority needed for the constitutional law to pass. ## Tuesday, June 27, 2017 ... ///// ### Jafferis' and other talks at Strings 2017 Strings 2017 is talking place in Tel Aviv, Israel this week. The talks may be watched at The Strings 2017 YouTube channel I hope that the TRF readers will increase the number of views. The most watched video so far has fewer than 140 views, somewhat less than 3 billion views of the Gangnam Style. ;-) ## Monday, June 26, 2017 ... ///// ### Many-minds interpretation: another entertaining story on top of Copenhagen There's absolutely no new physical beef in it in comparison with 1925-1926 In 1970, H. Dieter Zeh invented decoherence along with the many-minds interpretation – a historical fact that should remind you that "decoherence" is surely not a universal tool to expel minds and observers from quantum mechanics. What is this many-minds interpretation? Well, it's simple. It's "analogous" to the many-worlds interpretation, whatever that means, except that it's the minds, and not the worlds with objects, that split. In practice, the many-minds interpretation says that "bodies" evolve to superpositions but on top of bodies, you have "minds" and those always pick a definite outcome of a measurement, so they're not superposed or ambiguous. On the picture above, the body has evolved to a superposition of "I will press the green Yes check" and "I will press the red No cross". The coefficients determine the probabilities what the "mind" will do. And the "mind" or "soul" – which is a parasite living on top of the "body" – has chosen to press the green Yes check. ### Genius: after the last Einstein episode Last night, the Czech National Geographic aired the last episode of "Genius" about Einstein. The program was rescheduled for another season that will cover the life of Pablo Picasso. I think it was very well done and I have learned some new things about Einstein's life. Despite the systemic importance of Einstein in theoretical physics, the questions whom he argued with or whom he had sex with haven't been the things I've been immensely interested in – people who aren't into physics are often puzzled by this fact but those who have a clue aren't – but I think that it made sense to learn about these matters. The series was filmed in Czechia and folks like me could see many familiar places – ministries in Prague recycled as Nazi headquarters, spa towns and castles in Northwestern Bohemia used as Switzerland, and many others. A Pilsner guy like me had to laugh out loud when I was shown the building above – the Great Synagogue of Pilsen, the second largest synagogue in Europe and about fourth in the world (Street View) – with the caption "Bronx, New York, USA". ;-) So at least I know one place in Bronx very well now. Sometime during a pro-Israel fundraiser before the Second World War, inside the Pilsner synagogue, Einstein touchingly collected one quarter (of a dollar) from a Jewish boy whose father was arrested as a Bolshevik. I believe that the Pilsner synagogue must have represented this one in Bronx. ## Sunday, June 25, 2017 ... ///// ### Czech Miss High School finalists admire a cooling tower of a nuclear power plant Strings 2017 begins in Tel Aviv tomorrow. Germany will be shutting down all of its nuclear power plants in 2022. In many Western beauty contests, the participants vow to be green and only eat insects while emphasizing that things like nuclear energy and the human race are catastrophic for Mother Earth. Deutsche Welle has noticed that the atmosphere in my Czech homeland is a little bit different. The story was titled Czech Republic nuclear power station hosts bikini contest to choose interns. The contestants who have just passed their maturity (final high school) exam were invited to the cooling tower of the Temelín power plant in Southern Bohemia. ## Saturday, June 24, 2017 ... ///// ### Charles Munger explains how idiot Al Gore made a lot of money Charles Munger, a famous investor, the generous$65m sponsor of new housing at KITP Santa Barbara, and the #2 in Warren Buffett's company made some interesting comments in February that were only noticed by news organizations such as CNBC yesterday.

Munger has described the weird story how someone like Al Gore could have become a near-half-billionaire.

## Friday, June 23, 2017 ... /////

### Decoherence doesn't make observers unnecessary

Philip Ball wrote a long aeon.co essay titled Quantum Common Sense which argues that quantum mechanics isn't really "weird" and everything that was mysterious was basically explained... by decoherence.

I sympathize with the text to some extent and the extent could have approached 100% some 25 years ago. In particular, decoherence is a legitimate insight and quantum mechanics isn't weird when you look at it calmly. But there are lots of claims that Ball makes that I heavily disagree with, too.

OK, what is decoherence? And equally importantly, what decoherence isn't? Well, starting with the positive things, decoherence is a process that

1. allows one to calculate at what "point" in the parameter space, classical physics (gradually) becomes a decent approximate theory for a given physical system
2. puts severe constraints on the possible "basis of states" that may arise as "the states" after a measurement
3. eliminates the physical visibility of the complex phases in the probability amplitudes, so that the probability amplitudes may effectively be replaced with their absolute values
How does it work?